Kaavya Viswanathan, who is 19 years old and a student at Harvard, has published recently a work of fiction `How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life', Her book was in news last year, even before it was written and published as it got an advance of $500,000 (wow that is lot of money, in Indian ruppes it will be 2 crores and 30 lakhs!) as a deal for two-books. Lot of people must have got instantly envious of her, and I was no exception.
It had been reported recently by a student magazine The Crimson at Harvard that there are tweleve strikingly similar passages in Opal Mehta and Sloppy Firsts a book written by Megan McCafferty. McCafferty's book was published few years ago and was deeply admired by Kaavya Viswanathan when she was in her early teens. Now Kaavya Viswanathan has issued a statement stating that the lifting of the passage were unintentional and unconscious. Kaavya's apology is here. How convenient to say this, after you been caught. She got paid so much money and still could not resist lifting some passages from a book she admired. Kaavya Viswanathan has now promised to make changes in the future editions of her novel to remove the similarities. According to publisher of Opal Mehta book work on a new edition would begin tomorrow. But will there be future editions of the book. I wonder. I will be watching the this matter with considerable interest. Let us see what happens next.